By Sarah Wade-Apicella
Geneva - The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction today marks the 5th anniversary of the launch of PreventionWeb which is now used by 55,000 unique visitors every month as a common platform for disaster risk reduction professionals to find and share information and collaborate on disaster risk reduction issues.
An external evaluation published its findings in June 2012 found that over the four years Prevention Web has been operating, it has played “a unique and key role” supporting and informing the evolution of disaster risk reduction to a major global priority issue.
“Our initial goal was to help people make sense of the disaster risk reduction domain. Our current goal is to help them to act on it,” says Craig Duncan, Senior Coordinator of the Information Management Unit.
UNISDR is currently undertaking a broader user needs assessment of its PreventionWeb users and the disaster risk reduction community at large to identify their information and knowledge needs to improve its service.
“We use it so much,” said the Head of Extreme Events and Health Protection with the UK Health Protection Agency, Virginia Murray, whose team reviews its offerings on a weekly basis. “It’s nice to see our work represented there, but also we take your work and share it around the UK,” she said.
UNISDR Director, Liz Longworth, said: “Surviving for five years on the web and remaining relevant is an achievement in itself. PreventionWeb has shown that sharing practice and examples of what others are doing in disaster risk reduction remains a common need.”
PreventionWeb began life after an intensive user needs assessment was undertaken in 2007 targeting national focal points from Botswana, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Madagascar, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Senegal, United States of America, Algeria, and in addition to practitioners representing the needs of twelve diverse organizations in twelve countries.
During its first full year of operation in 2008, 12,600 individuals visited the site each month and this has since grown to over 55,000 per month. And of these 55,000 unique visitors, an estimated 25,000 professionals including regional intergovernmental, national and local government officials, UN agencies an partners, to educators, researchers and trainers, planners and grassroots practitioners currently visit the site more than once per week. Over 3,000 subscribe to email alert services, and some 125 public networks are promoted.
There is an average of 20 private workspaces and other processes hosted by the site in support of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) implementation: HFA Monitor at regional, national and local levels; consultative processes related to the HFA Mid-Term Review 2010-2011 and the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction; the Global Assessment Report and its corresponding peer review workspaces and risk profiles; and various thematic partnership workspaces.
The website is updated daily and has published over 20,000 disaster risk reduction items from policy and legislation, country progress reports, publications, DRR maps and risk profiles, disaster data and statistics, to news, events, educational materials, networks and more.
To participate in the survey, please visit the home page of PreventionWeb or contact the team via the website to be interviewed http://www.preventionweb.net